Early Voting (copy)

Thurmont-area voters line up to enter the booths in the early voting location as it opened Thursday morning at the Thurmont Regional Library.

A heated battle for the county’s highest office has resulted in more than $235,000 in spending among the presumptive top two candidates in the last two months, according to campaign finance reports.

County Executive Jan Gardner (D) spent $138,249.04 between Aug. 22 and Oct. 21 in her re-election effort, which is the most of any county candidate for elected office, according to campaign finance reports. Gardner pumped out about $48,000 in radio, TV and newspaper advertisements and approximately $77,000 for mailers.

Her Republican opponent, Delegate Kathy Afzali, spent $101,575.86 herself in an effort to unseat Gardner after one term. Afzali maintains a cash balance of slightly more than $55,000 to Gardner’s $53,931.88, though Afzali’s bankroll contains a $20,000 loan she made to herself.

The two have sparred through campaign attack ads in recent weeks. Afzali came under criticism from Gardner when the Frederick County Republican Victory Slate put out a flyer that said 60 emergency calls to the county’s 911 center went unanswered in Gardner’s term. However, no emergency calls have gone unanswered, according to Director of Emergency Management Jack Markey.

Afzali declined to comment when asked about the flyers, instead criticizing local Democrats for sending out mailers that she said contained false information about her, including claims that she has repeatedly voted against funding for local school construction.

Afzali’s campaign finance report shows she gave $6,000 to the Frederick County Republican Victory Slate as part of her spending splurge ahead of the general election. Afzali spent $60,000 on television ads and $15,000 for mailers, her campaign finance report shows.

Earl Robbins, the independent candidate for county executive, spent $5,200.43 and maintains a cash balance of $10,522.77.

A candidate for Congress who has spent record amounts of his own money in his bid for the 6th District seat in the House of Representatives has also become one of the biggest spenders in Frederick County races.

David Trone, the wine magnate who has pumped about $16 million of his own money into his run for Congress, has contributed more than $26,000 to Frederick County Democratic candidates for elected office this election cycle. Trone has contributed the maximum $6,000 to Gardner.

Trone has also contributed $5,000 to sheriff challenger Karl Bickel this election cycle. Trone’s wife has also made a $2,500 contribution to Bickel.

Bickel spent more than $17,000 in this reporting cycle, outspending and out-raising current Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. Jenkins raised and spent slightly more than $6,000. Bickel raised more than $26,000, according to his campaign finance report.

Susan Reeder Jessee, a Democratic candidate for County Council at-large, was the only candidate to spend less than $10,000 in the final two months leading up to the election. Reeder Jessee spent just $191.29 despite raising more than $9,000.

Early voting continues through Thursday, and Election Day is Nov. 6.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

Allen Etzler is a city editor at the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at aetzler@newspost.com.

(38) comments

des21

I'd be amazed if Jan doesn't win 60-40. I voted for her. Don't agree with her all the time and I'm a Republican but she's done a good job. Voted for Kai Hagan too. Too many wildly non-conservationist "conservatives" out there.

DickD

Yes, not conservative, but smart. Jan is an old fashioned Democrat.

threecents

Des[thumbup]

des21

What's with all the Chmelik write in signs on the SunTrust bank property at the corner of 75 and 80. Isn't that a violation of campaign law? Does anyone enforce those laws?

JEM farms (400 undeveloped acres between Cook Bros and Prices Distillery Rds gave Tony $5000 (He has 5 donors- Steve McKay has over 150!) to wage this write in fight so he's awash with cash but that doesn't mean he should be able to break the law.

KellyAlzan

public owned land - yank the signs, now.
privit land - ohner descretion

KellyAlzan

Seeing very few Jenkins signs this season. He must not have the energy anymore. That, or his supporters Are dead or in nursing homes now. Makes me think maybe Jenkins is ok with giving up his seat?

des21

You need to drive around District 2. Karl lives among us and there's a ton of Chuck signs- not good for KB. I imagine there's even more north of Frederick. You know, home to all the Frednecks so many hold in contempt..

KellyAlzan

my comment blankets the whole county of Frederick. I am in Karl's neck of the woods quite a bit, especially lately. The quantity of Jenkins signs that you mention pale in comparison.

DickD

I wish you were right, Kelly, but you aren't. Still Karl has his name all over the Post, that may be a bigger advantage.

des21

I don't think very many people read or pay attention to the FNP Dick. I give it 5 years- tops.

KellyAlzan

Not sure what you mean, dick. The Jenkins signs are few are far between as a whole in the county. I can drive you around and identify almost every place he had a sign in the past.

rbtdt5

Don't worry Kelly, we are safe for another 4 years. Chuck has done great and will continue to do so. Sleep well tonight.

KellyAlzan

ur funnie!

DickD

Disgusting is what I call Rb.

KellyAlzan

its not uncommon for incumbent politicians to lose the passion after a couple / few terms. And they run again more so to appease their supporters, not really caring if they win or lose. I'm just not seeing the aggression that Jenkins has exerted in the past. Has me thinking he's lost some of the interest that he once had.

ResUrbana

I have met Sheriff Jenkins; he is so down to earth and I could tell really cares about the county. If you ever meet him, he really takes the time to talk to you about concerns. I have seen the Jenkins signs, if there doesn't seem as many, may just depend on where you're driving by. I have not seen as many Bickel signs to be honest.

des21

I'm getting worried about these rich Democrats buying our Democracy. 16 million!

shiftless88

des; would you rather have someone spend their own money or spend other peoples' money to whom they will then be beholden? I'd prefer the former.

des21

Interesting point of view for someone with your political worldview. Go Trump eh?

shiftless88

Trump claimed he would self fund but then he didn't. His policies are apparently still influenced by special interests because those interests help elect his supporters in Congress.

des21

So did the special interests support him or his supporters in Congress? Both?

Bloomberg and that nut from SF scare me most currently. Bloomberg makes John Milton look positively liberal from a free choice point of view!

shiftless88

Look at Big Pharma and the NRA. He was all big about pushing back on them and then caved. $$$$$$

threecents

"Who knew health care was complicated." Trump had one meeting with a pharmaceutical guy and completely caved in. I could almost hear the deplorables saying, "I know, right?" and that was the end of it. Let's just repeal ACA, and all they managed to do was gut it. I know one person who knew healthcare was complicated - Hillary.

DickD

You are funny,Dave.

KellyAlzan

Kathy blew her shot for the CE seat with her inaccurate negative campaign ads. Kathy needs to attend marketing classes.

Her ads don’t say what her plans and goals are. Her ads don’t tell us what she can and will do for us. She just attacks attacks attacks. Negativity. People do not like negativity. Kathy single handedly destroyed her campaign.

DickD

Just got one today from Kathy, she claims Jan raised taxes four times in four years. Kathy never explained that the tax increase was due to tax assessment increases, the same as it was under Blain, a person she supported. . Jan needs to point this out to everyone.

threecents

I have been getting piles of negative ads from both parties.

DickD

Jan Gardner![thumbup]

DickD

I can't think of a better person for Frederick CE!

CDReid

I didn't waste a vote for either of them.

DickD

You didn't vote or you voted for Rollins?

Nicki

Doubtful that Seedy would ever vote for a woman.

DickD

You think he discriminates that much? Bet he married a woman, God Bless her.

FrederickFan

Kathy Afzali has spent most of her time and money relentlessly lying about County Executive Gardner.

Seeing them in public together at a forum the difference could not have been any greater. Afzali was completely stuck on herself saying "me me me," was totally awkward, and just made stuff up. Gardner was professional, knew her facts, and barely had enough time to talk about everything she had accomplished.

I'm glad to see Gardner defending herself against the massive amount of dishonorable rubbish coming from Afzali. And I'm thankful Gardner is willing to put up with all this crap, again, to represent us here in Frederick County. Gardner has my vote.

DickD

Mine too, FF![thumbup]

KellyAlzan

We know.

pappyjoe

Get out the BAMBY bats and go for it!! and may the best person win[beam]

pappyjoe

Hopefully, it won`t be white eye lyes that got each one in the winning office[beam]

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